Menu Swap Monday Dec 15th: Nuts and seeds!

Nuts and seeds, I really like both of them.  The majority of seeds that I use are typically spices, but I do like to use my share of sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.  I mostly snack on nuts or use them in Indian cooking but this week, since it is the festive holiday season, I am going to make a brittle with pumpkin, almonds and red chile.  I was going to use pine nuts, but they are outrageously priced at my local store right now, almonds it is. I have a giant bowlful of walnuts that I need to crack that Eby’s dad gave us from his English walnut tree – those might find there way in the brittle too. At least they are local, even if they are still in their hard shells.

This week’s menu swap host is In My Box and she blogs about what arrives in her CSA box every week. Swing on over there and check out all the menus posted – lots of cheese sauces created from nuts this week. I have yet to try doing that as I have no problem with dairy, but I am curious as to how they taste and someday will break down and try making some.

I experimented with making some liver free pate just using pork, and it failed miserably. I chalk it up to over seasoning (never thought I would say that) and using chickpea flour instead of some other flour. You know the golden rule is to never taste your batter or dough before baking if the chickpea flour is in it as it is bitter. Well, the slow cooking, low cooking nature of the pate meant that the chick pea flour still tasted raw – very bitter in a bad way. It was a big disappointment after all that work. But now I know. Next time I won’t try to add a nuttiness to my pate.

On to the menu:
Sunday: Ma Po Tofu, with stir fried broccoli and rice
Monday: Shepard’s Pie – after posting the recipe yesterday, I couldn’t resist.
Tuesday: Chicken Cacciatore with tomatoes, red peppers and baby bella mushrooms
Wednesday: Hot Tamale Soup – with homemade tamales from the freezer stock and grass fed beef and home canned tomatoes (I am in a tomato mood this week)
Thursday: Indian something with eggplant and pork (I know they don’t eat a lot of pork, but I have a lot of pork) or a fish curry, depends on mood.
Friday: Paella with chicken and chorizo – making use of the peppers I bought for Tuesday too.
Saturday: Shrimp with snow peas (shrimp for me, chicken for Eby, who won’t eat shrimp, but more for me.)

Happy Solstice to you this weekend – light a candle and appreciate the dark days, sunnier ones are on the way, after Saturday.

i’m out

Menu Plan of the Week April 7th: Asparagus!

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday - Asparagus

asparagus for risotto

For some reason, this week, my creativity in the kitchen is struggling. Perhaps it is the lack of inspiration of Bon Appetit this month (that mag is going down hill fast) or the lack of watching cooking shows, or perhaps it is that the weather has finally changed and it is sunny and 60 F out, although it is still cool in the evening. This is not normal weather for the first week of April, but it sure is nice. I have been a grilling fiend already.

I have a couple of recipes I want to get in before it gets too warm to justify eating them and that time is coming soon, so this will be the week. Once the farmer’s market is going , then I can do a more seasonal spring menu. Garden produce is still a long way off. We still have some piles of snow lying around right now even if the tulips are attempting to poke their heads out.

Saturday: Indonesian grill out

Pork loin basted in coconut water/milk with lemon grass, grilled on charcoal and snow peas sautee with Indonesian curried rice. Appetizer: lime leaf shrimp satays from Simply Ming with ginger added and fresh coconut used. They were great. I didn’t have wooden skewers so I just rolled them into oblong logs and dropped them in.

Sunday: Fusion picnic

Jerk chicken on the charcoal and potato salad in a French vinaigrette style dressing and broccoli. Oh and a mango margarita.

Monday: Greek comfort food

Moussaka with eggplant and grass fed beef and a Greek style salad with feta

Tuesday: Asian love of the Thai persuasion

A yet unknown dish involving tofu, napa cabbage and plenty of cilantro, ginger and garlic. Throw your ideas this way.

Wednesday: Modern English/American

Grass Fed roast beef with a garlic horseradish crust. We have some big hunks of beef in the freezer and I need to tackle my fear of roast beast. Prime rib on the other hand, I have no fear of. Roasted asparagus and I would guess some red wine to go along with it all. Perhaps a Yorkshire pudding to match the gravy that must occur with the roasting. It looks like Yorkshire pudding is just a giant gougeres with no cheese.

Thursday: Headed to Sault Saint Marie for overnight work. My Sweetie will grill brats and eat a romaine lettuce salad most likely. Or leftover roast beast.

Friday: Quebec

Poutine (crinkle cut fries and gravy (I might try the nutrient yeast gravy) with cheese), a big green salad and maybe some grilled asparagus.

What’s cooking in your kitchen?

i’m out

Vacation is over, I am back and ready to cook! Menu swap: better late than never!

We arrived back from the Pacific NW last night close to midnight. I can’t wait to post all about our adventures and some of the most delicious meals I have ever had. I ate seafood almost everyday and I will be recreating those meals for all of us!

11 days on the road and out of my kitchen! That is a long time! I have today off to to recover, put the house back in order, grocery shop and adjust back to eastern standard time. Last night on the last leg home I was thinking of things I had in the house to make some lunch as we gave all perishables away before leaving. I came up with Shepard’s Pie. I am eating it right now and will post the recipe and photos later. Quick and easy and can be made with things you have in your freezer and cupboard (well, if you stock your kitchen like I do I guess).

So I know it is late for the menu swap, but here is mine, starting with today:


Lunch English comfort food: Shepard’s pie

Dinner: On the road for meetings, busy already with work.

Thursday:  Indian: Vegetarian company in the house

Palak Pakodis (app) with cilantro mint chutney, Tomato Kurma, and a cauliflower curry over lemony rice

Friday: Italian American

Homemade Pizza and catch up on Netflix movies